BNSF 2625 (Formerly ATSF 1425) is an EMD-GP35 built September 1965. It is shown here switching in Fremont, Nebraska, near vine street January 2, 2009.

BNSF 2625 (Formerly ATSF 1425) is an EMD-GP35 built September 1965. It is shown here switching in Fremont, Nebraska, near Vine Street January 2, 2009.

I grew up in Fremont, Nebraska, which had a lot of railroad activity. The Union Pacific had two sets of track coming into town. One single track coming from Blair and Kennard which used to be operated by the Chicago and North Western, and a double track serving as the UP’s transcontinental route. We had a coal power plant and the coal trains seemed unlimited as they passed through from mines in Wyoming to plants out east. A train would pass through every 3 minutes it seemed. You couldn’t go long without hearing a horn in the distance. Burlington Northern came up from the south and headed north.

In the early 1980s, Chicago and Northwestern abandoned both sections of track to the west of town. The line had split west of downtown with a route heading over the Platte River to the south, and another route heading up north to Norfolk.

The Fremont, Elkhorn Valley Railroad (FEVR) and Fremont Dinner Train, two separate excursion operations, now operate on old CNW track heading north out of Fremont to Hooper. Recently service has been limited to Nickerson as a bridge later on down the track has been out for a while.

The Union Pacific Depot was gone before I could remember, the Chicago Northwestern Freight house still stands, and the Burlington Depot still stands too. There are usually a few engines sitting on the side track, almost as if on display, at the corner of D and Main. Rail service in the downtown Fremont area included various elevators, Christiansen Lumber (where my grandfather worked) and Arps Red-E-Mix Cement, just to name a few. To the north and south of town there were a few petroleum tanks.

About Chad Leigh Kluck

Originally from Nebraska, I am a history and railroad enthusiast currently living near Saint Paul, Minnesota. I enjoy trains, photography, and nostalgic memories, as well as the history of transportation, agriculture, eateries, breweries, and railroad towns. More...

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